The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) has deployed at least two TOS-1A thermobaric rocket launchers around the militant-held governorate of Idlib in the northwestern part of the country, a video released by pro-government activists on May 3 revealed.
The TOS-1A, which is based on the T-72 tank chassis, launches heavy 220mm rockets with a range of up to 6km. The rockets are armed with a unique fuel air explosives (FAE) warhead.
The SAA successfully used the TOS-1A rocket system for the first time during the battle of northern Lattakia in 2015. Later, the system saw action in the army’s anti-terror operations in Aleppo, Deir Ezzor, Homs, Damascus and Daraa.
The TOS-1A is mainly used against military personnel, equipment and buildings, including fortified constructions, such as trenches, tunnels and caves.
Last week, several pro-government sources claimed that the SAA and its allies are preparing to launch a large-scale military operation around Idlib. Despite the lack of any official confirmation, the deployment of TOS-1A thermobaric rocket launchers may be considered as a fact supporting these claims.